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Broward 911 troubles, Little Haiti honors pioneer family, Wildlife Thursday: Butterflies

A mural of Viter Juste, the ‘father of Little Haiti,’ by artist Serge Toussaint.
Miami Herald
A mural of Viter Juste, the ‘father of Little Haiti,’ by artist Serge Toussaint.

Tension grow in Broward County over staffing shortages at the 911 call center. Plus, Viter and Maria Juste built the foundation of what Little Haiti is today. We hear from their son about their family’s legacy. And it’s Wildlife Thursday — we’re talking about small creatures that have a mighty impact.

On this Thursday, May 12, edition of Sundial:

Broward 911 troubles

Many residents in Broward County are not getting the help they need during emergencies.

A recent Sun Sentinel investigation uncovered that staffing shortages in the county’s 911 communications center are costing lives.

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However, the remaining workers at the call center are hoping for a raise soon. That hope was bolstered by county commissioners earlier this week agreeing to draft a plan to give the Broward Sheriff's Office more money for their salaries.

The agreement came after long and loud fights with Sheriff Gregory Tony in the commission chambers.

WLRN's Broward County reporter Gerard Albert III covered that meeting. He joined Sundial with guest-host Wilkine Brutus to discuss the ramifications and what comes next, as the county works to save lives while they find a longer-term solution.

Broward 911 troubles

Little Haiti honors pioneer family

Little Haiti wasn’t always what it is today.

The vibrant community that we know now has been built through many hardships, obstacles and joyous moments.

Viter Juste and his wife Maria Juste are some of the early pioneers. Along with a number of other Haitians, they left their home in the late 50s during the dictatorship of François "Papa Doc" Duvalier.

Viter is considered the father of this community. He actually coined the name Little Haiti.

On Saturday, the Juste family is being honored at the center of the neighborhood in Northeast 59th Street. A part of that street will now be called “Viter and Maria Juste Way.”

“They both understood the power, the individual. But they also understood why a community cannot exist if we all do not come together," said their son, Carl Juste, who is a photojournalist with the Miami Herald and the founder of the Iris Photo Collective. "And I think it's in that legacy. All my memories gravitate towards that one theme of togetherness as a family. You know, we fight. God knows we fight. But at the end of the day, we love each other because we're like fingers to the fists.”

He joined Sundial to discuss his family’s legacy.

Juste is hosting a series of Man 2 Man conversations that will discuss Haitian masculinity at the IPC Artspace in Little Haiti. The first event is Friday evening.

“If you're going to have change, change must out from within. Real change happens within an arm's length, not across the country,” Juste said about the upcoming Man 2 Man conversations, which will also discuss women’s rights.

“Having a strong mother. Having a mother who liberated herself, first. Then liberated her children and her husband, second. People think my dad is the strong one. No. Anybody in my family knows better. If my dad is the flesh, my mother was the bone or the bones. She was his spine. She was his compass.”

Little Haiti honors pioneer family
Viter Juste and his wife, Maria, were married for more than 60 years. She died in 2008.

Wildlife Thursday: Butterflies 

In South Florida, we've got a lot of creatures — big and small — that we share this place we call home with.

This Thursday, we’re talking about creatures on the smaller side: butterflies. But don’t let their size fool you, they have a big impact. They are indicators of a healthy environment, act as natural pest control and much more.

Dennis Olle is the President of the Miami Blue Chapter of the North American Butterfly Association. He joined Sundial to discuss these beautiful pollinators, more specifically the Miami Blue Butterfly, which is endangered.

Wildlife Thursday: Butterflies
The Mount Charleston blue butterfly is a rare species found only in a few small areas high up in Nevada's Spring Mountains.

Leslie Ovalle Atkinson is the former lead producer behind Sundial. As a multimedia producer, she also worked on visual and digital storytelling.
Caitie Muñoz, formerly Switalski, leads the WLRN Newsroom as Director of Daily News & Original Live Programming. Previously she reported on news and stories concerning quality of life in Broward County and its municipalities for WLRN News.
Wilkine Brutus is the Palm Beach County Reporter for WLRN. The award-winning journalist produces stories on topics surrounding local news, culture, art, politics and current affairs. Contact Wilkine at wbrutus@wlrnnews.org